Today’s revelation: I have been officiating basketball for half of my life. When did it start and how did I get here? How did I become an official referee’ing games from coast to coast and even in foreign countries? Well, I won’t bore you with the details of my exact career path and how I got here (at least not right now), but I will share with you a few interesting things I have learned along the way about how officiating mirrors other professional careers.
In the officiating profession, candidates try out for leagues through a camp system offered each summer. The camp I attended in 1996 was the first of 47 camps I have now attended as a camper. Every summer, I have continued to interview for better games. And while I may not be the best camper in the system, I have had a lot of success. Success that I can attribute at least in part to my interview skills. I believe the interview skills required for an officiating job are the same as when interviewing for any job.
Carole Martin, Monster contributing writer, published an article titled, “10 Tips to Boost Your Interview Skills.” A few of her tips I can easily translate to “rules” for interviewing for officiating jobs:
1. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication
When arriving at a camp, it is important to “be in the moment” and turn off any outside distractions. Being engaged is a nonverbal communication that is easily detected.
When on the court, be confident but not arrogant. Keep your body in shape. Treat co-officials kindly, regardless of their talent level.
2. Dress for the Job or Company
Unless you are an official, you probably don’t know that the uniform is key. I have my uniform tailored to fit my body, from the length of the sleeves to the pleats and hems of the pants to the polish of the shoes. This is an interview so don’t attend the meetings in your scrub clothes.
3. Don’t Talk Too Much
This one has great meaning in officiating, and I am always reminded of the story my mother told me about how she got her first job. She said she was young and ambitious and really wanted a particular secretarial job at a mining plant. When she walked into the interview, she simply allowed the interviewer (a man) to do all the talking. She said she answered simply and then let him talk. And although she was not the most qualified, she was hired.
I think Abraham Lincoln said it best:
|“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”|
When 2013 ends, I will have attended more than 50 “interviews” and spent more than half of my life as a basketball official in some capacity. I have also spent 20+ years in the professional workforce, and I can assure you that some rules are standard, regardless of the profession.